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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:20 pm  

    Dethand wrote:
    Hey hey folks,

    Hardcore GH fans expecting heavily detailed Greyhawk canon from WoTC are bound for disappointment. But it seems likely that those same details that are lacking will be easy enough to insert by those who buy the product and know the background from which the material is based. Use your best judgement on how to make this new offering useful in your Greyhawk games.


    I really, REALLY doubt WotC is afraid of stepping on the toes of the Castle Zagyg project. They don't seem reverent enough.

    Heh, I can just imagine someone bringing it up at a WotC brainstorm session.

    Random Suit 1: Hey, I have this great idea. Let's call it Expedition to Castle Greyhawk!
    Random Suit 2: I like it.
    Random Suit 3: Me too.
    Random Suit 4: Hmm. Hold on a second everyone. Isn't Troll Lord Games releasing a product called "Castle Zagyg" in the future that is supposed to be a recreation of the REAL Castle Greyhawk. They might be upset if we try to undermine them with something like this...
    *brief silence*
    *cricket chirps*
    Random Suits 1, 2, and 3: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one, #4!


    Last edited by airwalkrr on Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:25 pm  

    iquander wrote:
    Savage Tide is nominally a Greyhawk adventure, whereas this is explicitly a Greyhawk adventure.


    Funny, I don't see a Greyhawk logo on the cover. Will this be the same style of explicit greyhawk found in DMG2's Saltmarsh?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:41 am  

    airwalkrr wrote:
    I really, REALLY doubt WotC is afraid of stepping on the toes of the Castle Zagyg project. They don't seem reverent enough.!


    Reverent enough?
    The dungeon under Greyhawk is some sort of divine location that should be literally worshiped?
    It has been 30 years, and Castle Zagyg is not going to be the original. There is nothing to be "reverent" of.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:13 am  

    (ahem, now that I'm logged into my account...oops...)

    So I'm not just constantly hating on Erik Laughing

    I think that if Gygax was seriously interested in collaborating on CGH for WotC, Erik and the crew would have openly welcomed him. IIRC, as well, various folks at WotC offered Gygax, formally or informally, the opportunity to do GH related work for 3e/3.5e, but for whatever reasons such projects didn't materialize. I distinctly recall Erik lamenting such a failed project a few years back on the greytalk chat, though what details I vaguely recall would look like I'm needlessly trashing Erik or Gygax, so I won't try and relate them. Gygax chooses to work with TLG, he hasn't been exiled there by WotC. WotC owns Greyhawk and most of the material associated with it (aside from the Gord stuff and a handful of characters and concepts retained by Kuntz and Gygax), they have every right to produce it.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:30 pm  

    chatdemon wrote:

    I think that if Gygax was seriously interested in collaborating on CGH for WotC, Erik and the crew would have openly welcomed him. IIRC, as well, various folks at WotC offered Gygax, formally or informally, the opportunity to do GH related work for 3e/3.5e, but for whatever reasons such projects didn't materialize. I distinctly recall Erik lamenting such a failed project a few years back on the greytalk chat, though what details I vaguely recall would look like I'm needlessly trashing Erik or Gygax, so I won't try and relate them.


    IIRC Gygax did get a credit in Dungeon 112, not sure if he helped out on that or not. But I do remember Erik making posts to the effect that he was trying to colaborate with Gary and Rob on some things and Gary simply wasn't interested. I also don't believe they require a lot of 3rd edition knowledge for Rob's Maure levels and do the mechanics editing for him, so it really comes down to hubris.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:28 pm  

    Lassiviren wrote:
    I also don't believe they require a lot of 3rd edition knowledge for Rob's Maure levels and do the mechanics editing for him, so it really comes down to hubris.


    Hubris?
    Someone in any of this is acting as though they are of equal stature to a divine being?
    First reverence, now hubris. Geeze, whatever happened to plain old annoying gits in Greyhawk?
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:27 am  

    I'm not sure what the big deal is. While Gary doesn't like 3rd edition and makes no bones about it, I really don't see why its any sort of "problem" that he doesn't choose to publish through Wizards. It rather seems to me like he's best served writing for the game system he likes and under the conditions that best suit him. Rob, Gary, etc are obliged to do what is fun and worthwhile for them. That's about it. The fact that we think it would be cool to have an official EGG product under the Greyhawk logo is really pretty irrelevant.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:21 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    I'm not sure what the big deal is. While Gary doesn't like 3rd edition and makes no bones about it, I really don't see why its any sort of "problem" that he doesn't choose to publish through Wizards.


    That's not the problem, as I see the "problem" being addressed here. The problem is the overzealous fans who claim any greyhawk product by WotC will be substandard because they are supposedly snubbing Gary to promote their own authors. The point being made is that if Gygax wanted to publish Castle GH through WotC, it would probably happen.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:25 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    It rather seems to me like he's best served writing for the game system he likes and under the conditions that best suit him.


    First of all, Gary is publishing Castle Zagyg for 3rd ed/d20. Castles and Crusades is a streamlined version of the system, with a couple unique twists, but promotional hype from TLG aside, it's still D20.

    Second, it's pretty well know that:
    a: Gygax (and Kuntz) don't write most of the mechanics for their D&D and C&C material. The publishers (Paizo and TLG) have ghost writers for the crunchy parts.
    b: Gygax is writing little if any of the CZ material himself. His own postings regarding the project explain that he's created an outline and style guide that the actual adventure writers will use.
    _________________
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    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:18 am  

    If we can get past the blind frickin' reverence for the Great Old Ones and get thinky about this:

    1: WotC are money-grubbers? Woo! Someone make that a crime, why doncha? They're a corporation - of course they'll put profit before content, or sentiment for that matter. They're legally liable if they don't (and Renton sounds like a cold place to beg for quarters at this time of year).

    2: Now, given 1 - don't you imagine if they made a lot of money on EtGR, they might be more inclined to stump up more development cash for more GH material so that they can make even more money? Eh?
    Crazy idea, I know, but that's the joy of capitalism for you.

    3: And what's with the running down of the only guys producing GH material of any form? OK - Sasserine has some (read: many) flaws, but for the love of the gods, can we be a little more supportive (or at least less scathing)? It's not like Erik's under a fatwa to put GH in Dungeon or Dragon in the first place (though, as incentives go it'd be a pretty good one...).

    4: If anyone imagines that Castle Zagyg is going to be any more consistent with GH canon than Savage Tide, then I hope you've got a prescription for whatever it is you're taking. Old Skool yes, GH no (unless you're a grognard down to the molecular level and nothing's "real GH" except EGG's own notes scrawled on a piece of a pepperoni-stained pizza box).

    P.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:43 am  

    It is not that I have a problem with Erik doing the job that makes me old school. I have a problem if the hacks over at Hasbro don't know what they are doing and re-edit Erik's work to make it more kiddy-friendly or dumbing it down that it just becomes a walk in the park.

    Folks, this is Castle Greyhawk, whilst T$R did a hack job, when it was in the same vein as Dungeonland. But, they did also come up with tons of other Greyhawk product before that point and for a while after that.

    I think that I express the fear of many fans, that the wiseheads over at Hasbro have come to bury Greyhawk not praise it. True, they may get some more Greyhawkers into the fold but equally many gamers may not understand the history or context, for other than Living Greyhawk, Hasbro has done squat to enhance the property. At least, T$R recognized their folly. I fear that Hasbro has too much money to realize their errors.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:53 am  

    chatdemon wrote:
    WotC owns Greyhawk and most of the material associated with it (aside from the Gord stuff and a handful of characters and concepts retained by Kuntz and Gygax), they have every right to produce it.


    I never said they don't have a right to produce it. For that matter, I'm looking forward to it. My point was simply that WotC is not a hobby company that does things for fun (the way TSR started out before it transformed). If they see a way to make money on something (like Castle Greyhawk), then they will do it. I don't think it is wrong. But there is certainly no reason in a capitalistic endeavor like this to not use "Castle Greyhawk" just because another company is doing "Castle also-Greyhawk-but-with-a-different-name." I'm sure there is a good reason (and I suspect it is to have continuity with the name of the original "Greyhawk Ruins" adventure).
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:29 am  

    You think TSR didn't want to make money before it was "transformed"?
    You really think they put out products with no thought as to the profit?
    And are you suggesting that WotC did this solely because of Castle Zagyg?
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:59 pm  

    Darva wrote:


    First of all, Gary is publishing Castle Zagyg for 3rd ed/d20. Castles and Crusades is a streamlined version of the system, with a couple unique twists, but promotional hype from TLG aside, it's still D20.

    Second, it's pretty well know that:
    a: Gygax (and Kuntz) don't write most of the mechanics for their D&D and C&C material. The publishers (Paizo and TLG) have ghost writers for the crunchy parts.
    b: Gygax is writing little if any of the CZ material himself. His own postings regarding the project explain that he's created an outline and style guide that the actual adventure writers will use.


    Well, I was under the impression that C&C was more of a 1e rip off using the d20 license as cover, but I don't own the game or really care.

    I'm frankly not sure the relevance of any of the rest of what you said as a response to me. Whether he has statmonkeys or is just being a supervisory figure is really irrelevant. He still is free to publish (or not publish) with whomever best suits him without the disparaging comments. You seem to think that folks are accusing WotC of snubbing Gygax, whereas I thought the hubris comment was the opposite (claiming Gygax was arrogantly refusing to work with WotC). Either way, I don't see that anyone has a right to bitch at them about it. Its their time and money, not ours.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:14 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:

    I'm frankly not sure the relevance of any of the rest of what you said as a response to me.


    Since your post, intentionally or not, came off as a "Gygax won't stoop to writing for WotC's crappy system anyway" type comment, I think her clarification was entirely relevant.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:37 pm  

    Well, perhaps. Though she separated my comments out in a strange way in the quoting if that's what she was objecting to in that post. I should have left that out entirely, since its not really necessary to my point and seems to be causing a distraction. I happened to read a thread once where EGG commented unfavorably on the complexity and power level of 3e and also said C&C was more like 1e to him. Not being familiar with C&C nor a regular on those forums where EGG posts, I really can't comment on whether it is or is not functionally the same game.

    But, as I said, that's a sidetrack from my point, which is that neither WotC nor EGG have any obligation to work together if one or both parties doesn't want to. And casting aspersions on either side because of it is wrong headed, imho.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:40 pm  

    chatdemon wrote:
    iquander wrote:
    Savage Tide is nominally a Greyhawk adventure, whereas this is explicitly a Greyhawk adventure.


    Funny, I don't see a Greyhawk logo on the cover. Will this be the same style of explicit greyhawk found in DMG2's Saltmarsh?


    Man, are you a grump or what?

    The word "Greyhawk" appears on the cover. A picture of Castle Greyhawk appears on the cover. A picture of friggin' MORDENKAINEN appears on the cover.

    I didn't have anything to do with the Saltmarsh in DMGII (though James did), didn't even look at it before publication, and still haven't read it. What I have seen made me crinkle up my nose a little and think "boy, my version in my campaign was a lot smaller and different," but I haven't formulated a more complex opinion on the matter.

    I should note that the DMG2 did not have the word Greyhawk on the cover, did not feature a picture of a famous Greyhawk location on the cover, and did not feature friggin' MORDENKAINEN on the cover either.

    It didn't have the Greyhawk logo on it either, though, so I guess you've made a great point.

    --Erik
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    Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:47 pm  

    Lassiviren wrote:

    IIRC Gygax did get a credit in Dungeon 112, not sure if he helped out on that or not. But I do remember Erik making posts to the effect that he was trying to colaborate with Gary and Rob on some things and Gary simply wasn't interested. I also don't believe they require a lot of 3rd edition knowledge for Rob's Maure levels and do the mechanics editing for him, so it really comes down to hubris.


    Gary provided a few pages of comments on the final version of "Maure Castle" and made several suggestions that we incorporated into the design. He also approved the republication of the Wargames Digest article that led off the issue, and gave the project his blessing. He was paid for our re-use of the WG5 material (even though it was owned by WotC) because I felt it was the right thing to do. Although he did not contribute new design to the adventure, his input was invaluable, and I wouldn't have done it without his blessing.

    The projects that I lamented in GreyTalk chats ages ago had to do with Castle Greyhawk itself. At the time I was the Global Publications Coordinator for the RPGA Network, and we routinely sent out a free adventure to members as a bonus for signing up and staying an RPGA member (which cost $20 at the time). The first of these adventures was an updated tournament by Keith Polster called "The Fright at Tristor," but it was my goal to make the second and subsequent adventures levels of Castle Greyhawk written by Gary and Rob and edited by me. Gary was very busy with other work at the time and (quite reasonably, in my opinion), wanted royalties on any release. Wizards of the Coast made it clear to me at the time that they were not interested in paying royalties to any game designers (they still don't, and probably never will), so the issue was dropped with no hard feelings on either side.

    Except for some massive fanboy disappointment on my end, of course. :)

    --Erik
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    Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:54 pm  

    kafka wrote:
    It is not that I have a problem with Erik doing the job that makes me old school. I have a problem if the hacks over at Hasbro don't know what they are doing and re-edit Erik's work to make it more kiddy-friendly or dumbing it down that it just becomes a walk in the park.


    I don't expect this to happen. Our design manager recently deemed the product "frolicksome and fun, with plenty of rich easter eggs for long-time fans."

    My perspective is that they knew what they were asking for when they asked me to participate in a Greyhawk product, and I delivered to the best of my ability. I wrote _exactly_ the same product I would have written if the book was but one in a full line of Greyhawk products, and I suspect this was one reason why I was hired to do the book. They wanted a Greyhawk guy, and I've been the bomb-throwing canonista within and around Wizards since 1999.

    If they substantially dumbed down the material or removed a bunch of the Greyhawk references or whatever, I will be very, very unhappy.

    I do not expect this to happen. If it does, my vitriol will make Chatdemon seem agreeable by comparison.

    --Erik
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    Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:58 pm  

    kafka wrote:

    I think that I express the fear of many fans, that the wiseheads over at Hasbro have come to bury Greyhawk not praise it. True, they may get some more Greyhawkers into the fold but equally many gamers may not understand the history or context, for other than Living Greyhawk, Hasbro has done squat to enhance the property. At least, T$R recognized their folly. I fear that Hasbro has too much money to realize their errors.


    I completely understand this sentiment, but I'd urge you not to write off Living Greyhawk so quickly. At last count, the campaign boasted some 15,000 gamers who play at least twice a year. If only a third of them retain some interest in the setting, that's roughly equal to the print run of "From the Ashes."

    In ten years, regardless of the state of the actual RPGA campaign, many of those players will be here on canonfire talking about the setting and adding to the community. That's significant.

    --Erik

    * Obviously, a lot of those 15,000 players enjoyed Greyhawk prior to the launch of LG, but I would guess that a great number of them knew nothing about the setting whatsoever before sitting at their first LG table.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:09 pm  
    Disagreement

    I have to say that I disagree with most of the vitrol here. I ran the first of the Savage Tide path with a group of friends, and I found that it provided more enjoyment to my players than any adventure I have run in some years. Happy

    My favorite adventure of all the adventures ever printed in Dungeon is Castle Maure and it's new levels. It is lower on my players list becuase they generally died. TPK shy one. Laughing

    I like the Savage Tide more than any of the other adventure paths. I liked the revised Saltmarsh. I am looking forward to Castle Greyhawk. And I am hardly pollyanna.

    I just dont have the energy to be a proffessional pissant.

    Oh, and if you could write some stuff specifically for my home campaign that incorporates my house rules, my player's preferences, and the custom local history that I have cooked up for MY Hawk, Gee that would be just dandy, and I might not complain. Let me know when you need my campaign notes.

    Erik, keep up the good work. If the quality slips, you will hear about it in spades.
    CF Admin

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    Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:39 pm  

    Hey folks. Happy New Year.

    I appreciated kafka's concern, "I think that I express the fear of many fans, that the wiseheads over at Hasbro have come to bury Greyhawk not praise it." However, I share that fear. Rather, the "Expedition ..." series seems like an innovative abusiness plan that attempts to profit from under-utilized old campaign settings.

    Perhaps to an industry insider, it's even predictable from WotC's refusal to renew White Wolf's license to the Ravenloft IP?

    Also interesting in this thread was Erik's statement that From the Ashes had a print run of approximately 5,000! I'd never speculated on what it might have been but nevertheless find the number surprising and low.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:57 am  

    Quote:
    I do not expect this to happen. If it does, my vitriol will make Chatdemon seem agreeable by comparison.


    I see the vitriol still persists in the few years I was away... and nice to Samwise is still the voice of reason (without giving an inch).

    Nuts to all this - I will grab a copy as soon as I can get one and I am sure I will enjoy it regardless, even if it is a completely new version. Who is with me?
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:03 am  

    I second that Manicmidwife!
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    Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:46 pm  

    I'm cautiously looking forward to this. Heartened by what Eric has said so far ref. greyhawk content, and I guess a certain buy.
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